Forest fires in Turkey's Dersim continue amid outcry on social media

Forest fires in Turkey's Dersim have been continuing for 12 days due to the lack of sufficient intervention. Social media users have been calling on authorities to extinguish the fires.

Duvar English 

Forest fires in the eastern province of Dersim have been ongoing for 12 days amid outcry on social media. 

Local authorities and social media users have been calling on relevant officials to act to extinguish the fires, but their calls fell on deaf ears for days. 

Twitter users have been using the hashtag "Dersim is on fire" to draw attention to the disaster. Their efforts were deemed "a fuss" by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Dersim provincial chair Sercan Özaydın. 

The General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) released a statement on Aug. 29, saying that aerial intervention began in Ovacık and Hozat districts. It also noted that three fires were brought under control. 

Dersim Mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu previously said that municipal teams were prevented from entering the fire zones to help with fire extinguishing efforts, as he slammed the lack of response to the disaster. 

He had also repeatedly called for the deployment of firefighting planes. 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Aug. 28 offered support to Maçoğlu and said that the party will do whatever is necessary to help put out the fires. 

Another CHP official to offer help was Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who noted that the municipality is ready to provide all kinds of support.

Turkey has braced hundreds of forest fires in numerous locations this summer and the lack of aerial response was a major controversy.